Singapore: execution to continue


Fury at decision to execute man with learning disabilities

In the early hours of yesterday morning (29 March) morning, Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a man with intellectual disabilities on death row in Singapore, lost his fight in court against his execution. The courts may have rejected his appeal, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong could still save him.  Nagen still needs this community to keep fighting for a life-saving pardon. The decision has received world wide condemnation. Singapore does not have a favourable human rights record and uses repressive laws against political opponents and human rights defenders. Human Rights Watch describes the country’s political environment at ‘overwhelmingly repressive’ with severe restrictions on free expression, association and assembly.

Nagaenthran claims he was coerced into carrying a package of heroin but that he was unaware of the contents. The UN has said the sentence is disproportionate and no allowance had been made by the authorities for his disabilities. His IQ is said to be 69.

In the 48 hours before his hearing, over 4,000 people made their voices heard and tweeted Lee Hsien Loong asking for Nagen to be spared. Only the Singaporean government can save him now, should they decide to show compassion and grant him a pardon that will spare his life.

Because of your support, Nagen is not standing alone in his fight for his life. For details and how you can help follow this link to the Reprieve site.

We include a link to a video of an interesting talk by Kirsten Han on the subject of the death penalty in Singapore.

Sources: Amnesty; Guardian; Reprieve; Human Rights Watch.

Bahrain action


UK: Speak up for Maher, Mohammed and Husain in Bahrain

Maher Abbas al-Khabbaz. Mohammed Ramadhan. Husain Moosa. 

All three men are political prisoners in Bahrain. They were all sentenced to death based on ‘evidence’ and ‘confessions’ obtained under torture. They remain on death row today with only a Royal pardon capable of sparing their lives. All while the UK Government gets close to Bahrain over trade talks – prioritising trade over human rights abuses.

In July 2020, the UK Minister for Middle East and North Africa stated that if “the death penalties are upheld through the Court of Cassation process, the UK will publicly and loudly remind Bahrain of our opposition to the death penalty.” 

Bahrain did just that – upheld their sentences – and the UK government has been silent.

Will you add your name to speak up for Maher, Mohammed and Husain? Please visit the Reprieve website to find the petition. Thank you.

Free Jagtar Singh Johal


Send a birthday message to Jagtar Singh Johal

Jagtar Singh Johal is a British national who was abducted by Indian authorities just three weeks after his wedding. He’d gone to India to visit family, but Indian authorities tortured him into signing a blank confession. We described his case in a previous post.

That was in 2017. Now, he could be sentenced to death. 

It’s up to us to make sure Jagtar knows he’s not alone while Reprieve investigators, lawyers and campaigners fight to get him home.

You can send a message and birthday greetings by going to the Reprieve site via this link.

Good news – Saudi


It is not often we get to report good news from Saudi Arabia on the human rights front but we are pleased to report the release of Dawood al Marhoon from prison where he has languished since 2012. He was arrested aged 17 following the Arab Spring protests in 2012. He was condemned to death in 2015 which may have been carried out in public by beheading and crucifixion. Many people from Amnesty and via Reprieve have signed petitions and it has been announced that he has been released.

Saudi death sentence imminent


This is a repost from Reprieve

Hassan al-Maliki could be sentenced to death on Monday 31 January. His crime was  “owning books”, “publishing books” and “publishing tweets”.  Hassan peacefully expressed his opinions on religion and called for a more open society. His only crime is that his views aren’t shared by Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite.

In 2018, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman promised that Saudi Arabia was changing and moving away from its use of the death penalty.  But the fact is, Hassan is facing death for something that never should have been considered a crime. Mohammed Bin Salman is trying to silence those that disagree with the status quo. That’s why this community is speaking out for Reprieve clients in Saudi Arabia.  And now, we’re supercharging the campaign for Hassan.

Hassan was arrested on September 11, 2017. No warrant was shown and he was locked up for a year without charge or trial. His detention and the charges brought against him violate his most basic rights.

On Monday, regardless of the outcome in Hassan’s hearing, we will continue to fight for him and for all those who face injustice around the world.

If you want to take action, please go to the Reprieve web site for the link.

Syria action


This is an appeal from Reprieve

At a recent visit to a prison camp in North-East Syria a young British boy named Joey and his mum Salina were met.* Salina is very sick and could die if she doesn’t receive urgent medical treatment Joey would be left orphaned and alone in a detention camp in Syria. The UK government could bring Joey and his mother home, like they’ve brought other British children home from Syrian detention. But so far, they have refused to do so.

Salina’s condition is getting worse and doctors warn she will die if she does not get medical treatment. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office were written to for a second time last week to ask that they repatriate Salina and Joey as a matter of urgency. The longer they delay, the closer Salina is to death and the closer Joey is to becoming an orphan.  Government officials told me that Ministers are currently “considering” the case.

The UK government has the power to save Salina’s life, and stop Joey from being orphaned and abandoned.

Salina is paralysed, which makes it impossible for her to do simple tasks like bathing or getting food unaided. She has started having seizures which terrify Joey. Not long ago, one of her seizures was so bad that Joey thought she had died.

Joey doesn’t play outside with the other kids anymore. He is afraid to leave his mother’s side in case something happens to her. He “sees fires” everywhere, following a terrifying tent fire which he and his mother narrowly escaped, in which all their possessions were burned. The Government’s refusal to act is robbing him of his childhood and forcing him to watch his mother become sicker and sicker. 

 We have a template email ready for you.

Egypt – threatened execution


Dr. Osama Yassin is a paediatrician – but right now, he is sitting on death row in Egypt – where there is human rights crisis. 

He was arrested in 2013 and has been in solitary confinement since – often denied food and water. He was sentenced to death alongside 11 other men in a mass trial of 739 people and faces imminent execution. 

No specific evidence was introduced against Dr Osama in his trial.

This is reproduced from a message from Reprieve. If you can add your name to their petition that would be wonderful. You can access it here.

Saudi Arabia: Don’t execute Abdullah al Howaiti


Abdullah was 14 years old when he was abducted by Saudi Arabian authorities in 2017. He was tortured until he ‘confessed’ to crimes he couldn’t have committed. He has several alibis—he was at the seafront 200 km away, playing football with his friends, at the time of the alleged crime.

Abdullah’s conviction was overturned in November 2021. This should be good news, but under Saudi Arabian law there must now be a retrial. That’s why we can’t stop fighting now. 

Saudi Arabian authorities say that they ended the use of the death penalty for child defendants in April 2020. But this is clearly a lie—Abdullah is a child defendant. We’re holding them accountable and making sure the death penalty and his so-called ‘confession’ are off the table. 

Thousands of us in the Reprieve community are helping build a huge swell of public attention and demanding that UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss steps in to protect Abdullah. Will you help too?

If you would like to take part follow this link to the Traidcraft site.

Abduction in India


Anniversary of Jagtar Singh Johal’s abduction

Jagtar Singh Johal was abducted in plain sight by Indian police officers on November 4, 2017 – four years ago, today. It was the middle of the day and he was walking with his new wife. He travelled to India from his family home in Scotland to marry her. But three weeks into their marriage, they were pulled apart.  Together, Reprieve are exposing Jagtar’s story to the world and calling on the UK Government to get Jagtar back home before it’s too late.

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Today marks the four-year anniversary of Jagtar’s abduction and arbitrary detention in India – and exposes another year of delays by the UK Government. They should be doing everything they can to get him – a citizen – back home to Scotland.

Jagtar is now 34 years old.  Up until four years ago, he worked in his father’s restaurant in Dumbarton and cheered on Arsenal FC. But his life changed the day he was abducted. His government should have intervened and brought him home to safety a long time ago. But instead, he has spent his 30s in an overcrowded Indian prison, far from his family in Scotland.

This post is courtesy of Reprieve and if you have time to share the links above – which only take a moment – we would be grateful.

Good news! Ali al Nimr released


We are delighted to report that after a long campaign by Amnesty, Reprieve and other organisations, Ali al Nimr has been released from prison in Saudi Arabia. It can sometimes feel that campaigning for the release of people held for their beliefs or opposition to the government is a lost cause. This shows that it can sometimes work and the full story and background can be seen here in a statement by Reprieve.

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